In the Star Wars Trading Card Game, a winning deck is all about support. This can take many forms. Battle cards such as Imperial Misdirection and High Speed Dodge offer support tricks to see you safely through the current state of play. Mission cards such as Wedding of Destiny and Explore the Swamps offer a supporting element to your overall strategy.
Supporting units play a vital part as well, adding defensive or offensive power to your force. Many of these support units come from the ranks of the undefined, the Neutral side. So let's look at the results of our latest poll -- your favorite Neutral Ground Unit.
The vote was pretty close. We'll count them down from the eighth most popular card to the first. It's interesting to note that the top three cards are common and uncommon. (In your face, rares!)
#8 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Dune Sea Krayt Dragon -- The Phantom Menace
I'm sure that many of us have tried to make this guy work at one time or another. The problem with this lesser cousin of A New Hope's Krayt Dragon is that it just doesn't go far enough. A single unit costing 8 build is a significant investment and enters territory where it needs to own an arena. Great -- for 4 Force, you can untap it, and it can attack again, but at 30 speed, it's unlikely to live past the first round. Without a better built-in ability such as Deflect or Overkill, this card is simply overcosted.
#7 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Luxury Airspeeder -- Attack of the Clones
This was a bit of a surprise. I'm a big fan of this speeder. At 3 build, it's a very cost-effective unit, and its bonus to all your Ground units can make such a difference, pushing those ailing 40 and 50 speed units over the threshold to attack first. That said, it's in tough company in this poll. Most of the other units here are offensive options, while this is undoubtedly a support unit with little independent offensive capability. Don't be misled, however. The speed-boost power of this inexpensive unit shouldn't be underestimated.
#6 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Jabba's Guards -- Return of the Jedi
A great new card -- 4 build for 5 power and 5 health is pretty darn good. Can't or don't want to pay the Upkeep? Don't bother! For 3 Force, this unit can both Intercept and Retaliate 3 any Ground attack, whether you've paid the Upkeep or not! For 4 build, that's pretty good value for money and makes the guards a solid addition to any deck. Neutral diehards will love this card as Prince Xizor (A) turns them into an attacking, intercepting, retaliating monster!
#5 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Gungan Grand Army -- The Phantom Menace
Even as an isolated Gungan unit, this load of floppy-eared lunatics is fantastic. 9 build points puts them in the same territory as the Dune Sea Krayt Dragon we passed earlier, but unlike that guy, the army is all about power. Sure, 20 speed means that you're going to take a few hits, but 11 health means you can survive them. And when you get to strike back -- oh, boy! 10 power with Overkill means that every attack threatens at least 2 units, and your opponent had better hope he's not fielding droids. Combine this guy with other Gungans such as Kaadu Scout, and you have an unstoppable war machine!
#4 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Krayt Dragon -- A New Hope
How hard is this guy? It may be an oldie, but the original power card is still the best. Careful attacking means that you can take out an opposing unit plus untap and take a chunk out of the unit about to hit you. Next turn, take out that unit plus bite into another, and so the cycle continues. Careful damage prevention can make this guy a winner in the Ground arena!
#3 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Bespin Speeders -- The Empire Strikes Back, Rogues and Scoundrels
Narrowly beating the dragon into the top three are the Bespin Speeders. While not offering the single-handed strength of other independent units in this poll, collectively the speeders represent a significant threat. Sure, your opponent can pay Force to thwart their efforts, but stretching Force reserves thin can prove costly to other arenas relying on Evade to survive. Sooner or later, your over-speeded speeders will get their chance in the limelight. Their Force-paying option also makes them a great addition to Force denial decks.
#2 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Sebulba's Podracer (A) -- The Phantom Menace
This speeder has two features that rightly earn it a place in the top three. First, its 80 speed almost guarantees it the first attack. Second, its ability is very powerful. While its Light Side cousin, the Rebel Armored Freerunner, can divide its damage, Sebulba's Podracer (A) skips past the damage prevention phase by directly placing 3 damage counters on its target.
And the number one most popular Neutral Ground Unit card...
#1 Favorite Neutral Ground Unit
Kaadu Scout -- The Phantom Menace
What's this, a floppy-eared Jar-Jar wannabe in the top spot? That's right, the Gungans have taken the gold, and this guy deserves it. At 3 build, you get not only a very cost-effective 50 speed unit, but also a potentially arena-winning ability. Just by tapping and declaring a target, all your Ground units get Accuracy 1 when attacking that opposing unit.
Not convinced? How many times have you been looking down the barrels of Gungan Grand Army guns, staring up at an imposing Trade Federation Control Core, or shaking before the roar of a Krayt Dragon? These high health units are very hard to beat -- unless you can somehow increase the number of successful hits you deal them. Remember also that Accuracy stacks, so 2x Kaadu Scouts means Accuracy 2 for all your units!
Thanks to everyone who voted. Stay tuned for more polls coming soon!
Thoughts or comments? Visit the message board thread for this article here.
About the Author
Canadian born David "Darth" Cornford currently lives in Sydney, Australia after spending most of a former life in England. His aim in life is to write as much as possible -- preferably getting paid for it. David has written for various British newspapers, music and hobby magazines; and produced enough marketing literature to cover a small African country. David is currently working on his first fantasy novel and will offer his first born to anyone willing to publish his work.